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Pennsylvania primaries could herald shift of power in US House

Pennsylvania primaries could herald shift of power in US House

In the final round, Sheehan asked her voters to abstain from voting, which prohibited a needed majority from being reached.

The new map changed what is now Pennsylvania's fifth congressional district from a swing district to one that Hillary Clinton would have won by 28 points, giving the victor of Tuesday's primary an easy road to victory in November.

Opposition to President Donald Trump, a redrawn congressional map and a string of Republican retirements in the state have opened the door for Democrats to pick up as many as half a dozen seats.

Here are the unofficial results of key Pennsylvania primary elections held on Tuesday, May 15, including the Republican contest for governor, the Democratic and Republican contests for lieutenant governor and the GOP bid for U.S. Senate.

Barletta had paid little attention to his Republican rival, state Rep. Jim Christiana, during the primary campaign.

But Democrats were not as anxious about those attacks resonating in Pennsylvania, compared with some other states Trump won.

The state has shown signs of trending Democratic since Trump's historic defeat of Clinton.

Democrats are "trying to out anti-Trump each other, while Republicans are lining up nearly universally behind the president", Christopher Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, told the Pennsylvania Cable Network recently.

In the phone message he recorded, Trump called Casey the "hand-picked guy" of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., using a strategy Republicans have deployed in other states to tie candidates to party leaders. Bob Casey have faded recently.

Rachel Reddick, an Emily's List-endorsed 33-year-old former Navy prosecutor, fits the profile of a Conor Lamb, who just won a hotly contested House special election near Pittsburgh.

Barletta has lagged in the fundraising race, collecting almost $1.3 million in 2018's first quarter and ending with $1.6 million on hand, compared to Casey's almost $10 million on hand.

Casey, 58, is popular with labor unions and backed former President Barack Obama's signature policies.

Barletta, who was elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, has taken a hard line on immigration in the Senate.

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Barletta, of Hazleton, who shares Trump's hawkish views on immigration and terrorism, will face Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey won by fewer than 2 percentage points. In 2016, Trump became the first Republican presidential nominee to win the state in 28 years. Wagner defeated two first-time candidates from the Pittsburgh area, Paul Mango and Laura Ellsworth, surviving weeks of Mango's sharp-elbowed attack ads that painted Wagner as sleazy, greedy and a "deadbeat dad".

Voting was reported to be steady early Tuesday morning with voter turn-out slowing in the mid-morning and afternoon (which is typical of Primary Elections here).

The interest among candidates belies the uphill climb for the party in the Democratic-leaning state.

The Braddock mayor's victory in Tuesday's primary election means he will run on a ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall.

Republicans nominated businessman Jeff Bartos for lieutenant governor.

For Republicans, it was a question of whether candidates would run in the footsteps of President Donald Trump, who carried the state by 44,000 votes in 2016, or would they embrace a more moderate, suburban Republicanism? Stack had been dogged by reports that he and his wife mistreated state employees.

Pennsylvania's politics were thrown into turmoil earlier this year when the state Supreme Court found that its congressional districts had been unconstitutionally tailored to favor Republicans. Two local incumbent House Democrats from Pennsylvania have turned back primary challenges.

After a tough primary, Wild will still have to work to get the party fully behind her to face the GOP nominee.

In the 1st District, it's wealthy philanthropist Scott Wallace who will face off against GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. Currently, there are no women representing Pennsylvania in the House.

"I think it's great that we are finally doing something about gerrymandering and I hope this makes more people go out and vote because their votes actually count now", said Diane Dalto.

In one of the districts, Democrats are facing a competitive, crowded primary in which Sen. Deb Fischer, who defeated four little-known challengers. Raybould, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2014, helps run a Nebraska grocery store chain founded by her late father. She says "that was a wasted vote" because it will be going Democratic.

The other Democrats were Frank Svoboda, a retired farmer, attorney and judge from Lincoln; Larry Marvin, a retired real estate broker from Fremont; and Chris Janicek, of Omaha, who owns a specialty cake business. He has one primary challenger.